Plympton Fire Chief Warren Borsari met with Selectmen Monday night to present his new program to improve staffing at the fire station and on calls.
The meeting room was filled with citizens and many uniformed firefighters.
While Plympton will still operate as a completely call – or voluntary – fire department during the nighttime, Borsari explained that he is making more staff full-time to cover daytime shifts to increase “operational efficiency.”
Selectmen invited Borsari before them as this change has caused significant discussion around town and within the fire department, according to Selectmen Chairman Russo. While the forum was at times heated, it was largely civil. See related story for complete coverage of the forum.
Chairman of the Plympton Historical Commission Jon Wilhelmsen told Selectman that two demolition permit requests had come from owners of homes listed on Plympton’s historical homes inventory. He said that his Commission rarely dealt with such requests and has been working diligently with the homeowners to come to mutually agreeable solutions. He said he will report back to the Board. The structures are located at 3 Forest Street and 6 Cross Street.
The Board also discussed the ongoing work on their main projects for the upcoming year.
Selectman Colleen Thompson reported that she had only two people interested in volunteering for her Public Safety Building Committee and that one could only meet in the evening. The Police Chief and Fire Chief would necessarily sit in on the committee as well, and as they work during the day, scheduling has already become an issue.
Board of Health Chairman Art Morin volunteered, and Thompson realized she had the beginnings of a committee. An audience member suggested a 5 p.m. meeting time to accommodate the volunteer who could only meet in the evening.
In terms of siting the public safety building, there was some discussion when Town Coordinator Dale Pleau described parts of what had been discussed at past meetings with other town officials regarding various plans, including redesigning the current Town House campus and siting a police station there. Pleau defended the Town House campus as only hypothetical, but a logical plan.
Pleau questioned possible funding sources and whether to bring a warrant to the Annual Town Meeting next May or to call an earlier Special Town Meeting, perhaps in the fall. Susan Ossoff, speaking as a private citizen as she is Chairman of Finance Committee, commented that any plan should go to the Annual Town Meeting for full discussion by townspeople and noted that funding mechanisms can be tricky should it go to a Special Town Meeting. Ossoff was also concerned that even though an official committee has not been appointed, plans sound final without public input. Pleau and Thompson responded that this is the reason they are forming a committee.
Selectperson Christine Joy, who will be heading a committee to review and implement suggestions from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue report on Plympton’s finances and the manner in which it handles its money from this past Spring, said that she had only one volunteer for her committee. Joy had laid out a more than twenty point plan, and said, “We’ll divide and conquer and get moving on it…First meeting’s tomorrow at six.”
Russo told his board that he had not much yet to report on his area of focus, improving internal and external communication from and within Town House and reducing government vacancies.
Pleau told Selectmen he wants to implement a monthly department head meeting, as well as a financial team meeting. The Board is enthusiastic and will assign one selectman to attend these meetings on a rotating basis, thus avoiding an Open Meeting Law violation.
Finally, Russo reported that Plympton’s ascension to Area 58 Community Access Media is still in process, though at the final stages of the legal process. He didn’t specify any exact date for when the town will join the tri-town studio.
• The Board of Selectmen will meet at Town House in Plympton next July 27th at 6:00 p.m.
• There is an opening on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Contact Tara Morrison, Town Clerk, at (781) 585-3220 if you are interested in serving.